The Sangil inhabit the islands of Balut Sarangani and parts of the coastal area of South Cotabato and Davao del Sur provinces. In the past, the Sangils were among the buccaneers who attacked Spanish held territory in the Visayas and Luzon.
The Sangils had been Muslim prior to their arrival in Southern Mindanao. Their migration perhaps came about as a result of Dutch colonial pressure and increasing Christianization of their homeland (Sangihe Archipelago) starting in the second half of the 18th century.
They embraced Islam later as a result of their continuous contact with their motherland, which became Islamized, as well as with the emerging Muslim communities in Maguindanao and Sulu in the 14th century.
Their language seems to show affinity with the Sama language in terms of commonality of vocabularies, similarity of the manner of speaking, and the sound of the utterances of words.
The Sangils earn their livelihood by fishing and cultivating small quantities of food crops. A few of them engage in boat-building of vessels like vintas and pumpboats.